The East Windies musicians wish all our friends a joyful musical holiday!
Guilio Briccialdi (1818-1881)
19th century Italian flute virtuoso; dubbed “Paganini of the flute”
Born in Terni Italy, later moved to Rome
Selected a musical career over the priesthood (his family’s preference)
First appointment: Academia di Santa Cecilia Rome, age 17
Flute teacher to the king’s brother
Director of Rudall and Rose (instrument makers): made mechanical innovations still used today
1870 Professor of Flute, Florence Conservatoire
Wrote three wind quintets: Bb major, Series 10, nos 2 & 3; and D major, Op 124
His many other compositions were mostly for flute and piano, one of the better known being Il Carnevale di Venezia
Titled “Galerie des compositeurs dramatiques modernes“, this charming postcard was created by French lithographer Nicolas Eustache Maurin (1799-1850). It depicts the leading composers working in Paris at mid-19th century. Featured, among others, are GEORGE ONSLOW (back row, 3rd from left), HECTOR BERLIOZ (back row, far left), FELIX MENDELSSOHN (back row 2nd from right), and GIOCOMO MEYERBEER (front row, 2nd from left?). It was published in the French music journal, Revue et Gazette Musicale de Paris in 1844: A weekly journal owned and produced by music publisher Maurice Schlesinger. The journal featured articles about music by such notables as: Franz Liszt, Georges Sand, Robert Schumann and Richard Wagner. In a supplementary issue, the Revue published a collection of hundreds of signatures of “compositeurs“. Gorge Onslow’s appears on page 11 (middle – lower page).
Provincial Clermont-Ferrand: Where George Onslow wrote his wonderful Wind Quintet opus 81 in 1850.
George Onlsow (1784 – 1853)
George Onslow was dubbed “the French Beethoven”. Descendant of an aristocratic English family he was educated in France as a privileged gentleman, taking up composition in his twenties as an amateur cellist (and pianist who never performed publically). He studied composition with the famous Anton Reicha in 1808 (before Reicha wrote his own celebrated series of wind quintets). Onslow went on to become hugely popular, writing 36 string quartets and 34 quintets, with a strong following in Germany and England. He also wrote a number of piano trios, several operas, and four symphonies . As for wind quintets, he wrote only one (opus 81), rather late in his career (1850) aged 66. His music embodied the traditional school, announcing a rich Romanticism in harmony and lyricism. He received many public honours, and as his portrait above suggests, he was respected and appreciated for his very generous personality.